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The ESPON 2013 Operational Programme
http://mapfinder.espon.eu/wp-content/uploads/OMF0338-300x420.png 300 420 http://mapfinder.espon.eu/wp-content/uploads/OMF0338-546x765.png 546 765 http://mapfinder.espon.eu/wp-content/uploads/OMF0338-1250x1752.png 1250 1752 http://mapfinder.espon.eu/wp-content/uploads/OMF0338.png 2460 3449 http://mapfinder.espon.eu/wp-content/uploads/OMF0338-546x765.png 546 765 http://mapfinder.espon.eu/wp-content/uploads/OMF0338-1250x1752.png 1250 1752 http://mapfinder.espon.eu/wp-content/uploads/OMF0338.png 2460 3449 World city network integration, 2008

World city network integration, 2008

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  • Europe’s large cities are the main gateways to the world, particularly in terms of transport hubs, nodes in the global financial systems or hosting R&D centres in cutting edge research
  • At the international level, London and New York assume the most prominent positions, whereas in Europe this role is observed in Paris, Milan, the Rhine-Ruhr conurbation in Germany and, obviously, London
  • In the context of the EU neighbourhood, the most well integrated metropolitan regions in the global business network are Istanbul and Moscow

Observations for policy

Biggest cities in Europe are important gateways to the world, especially in terms of transport hubs, nodes in the global financial systems or hosting R&D innovation centres in cutting edge research. At the international scale, London and New York assume the most prominent positions. In Europe, apart from London, such role is largely observed in Paris, Milan, and the Rhine-Ruhr region in Germany.

Policy context

Europe 2020 strategy defines ‘smart growth’ as a key component of economic recovery and development. It associates smart growth with ‘an economy based on knowledge an innovation’. In order to achieve these goals, Europe will need smart places capable of attracting people and firms from other markets.

Knowledge and innovation are key development factors in today’s world. These constitute important ingredients of smart regional economic growth and tools to recover from the economic and financial crisis.

Globalisation encouraged connectivity between people. Thus a set of territorial factors such as linkages, urban advantages, attractive environments and processes of territorial cooperation and governance have become vital economic resources.

Map interpretation

The map shows global cities with regard to the number of people living in urban areas and integrated into global business networks. The classification is based on the presence of advanced services in an urban area. Although it is just one indicator, the presence of the largest global service producing enterprises provides a good proxy on the global standing of a location.

At the international scale, London and New York are clearly integrated than any other city. This is followed by a series of highly integrated cities including Paris, Milan and the Rhine-Ruhr region in Germany, as well as a number of cities in Asia such as Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong-Kong and Sydney. Neither America nor Africa is represented in this category.

Many European capitals and major American cities belong to the categories of very important world cities linking major economic regions and states to the world economy, respectively important world cities that are instrumental in linking their regions and states to the world economy.

Concepts and methods

The classification is based on the presence of advanced services in urban areas. For this purpose, the location of the 100 largest global service producing enterprises within six different branches (accountancy, advertising, banking/finance, insurance, law, and management consultancy) were charted. In 2000, the number of such offices within EU27+4 amounted to 2548.


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